By Timia Cobb
Web Content Contributor
Anime is a grey area in the entertainment world that some people don’t see themselves venturing into anytime soon. Not watching anime is understandable for those who generally don’t like it, but on social media, anime fandoms have made it appear that if you watch any anime, you have to be an expert on it.
Anime is an art that should be appreciated. But lately, it has become a movement that encourages people to either gloat about watching it or happily watch it but not speak up on the subject because they aren’t confident when speaking about anime as a genre.
There are many reasons to fall in love with anime: drama, action, romance, gore and so forth. That’s why anime isn’t really any different from any other show. Yes, there is a large community that supports it and takes it very seriously, but that shouldn’t discourage you from giving it a chance.
Anime is truly enjoyable and can be super bingeable. Although there are many shows to choose from, here are some animes that are perfect for those who haven’t watched anime and are looking to start.
Growing up on “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Totally Spies”, I’m upset that I am just now starting to watch “Sailor Moon”. “Sailor Moon” is a classic anime that is known for its spunky, upbeat lead female character, Usagi Tsukino, or also known as Sailor Moon.
The plot of “Sailor Moon” is based on Usagi’s recruitment to be a pretty-moon soldier and fight off evil entities to protect the Earth. Usagi is only a middle school student, so the show includes her relatable lifestyle as she faces problems such as bad grades, crushes and even serious issues like weight loss.
“Sailor Moon” is a colorful and humorous show that is perfect for marathons. Each episode is only about 25 minutes long. The anime itself is pretty old, meaning it has a decent voice-over dub options available for those who don’t want to use subtitles when watching.
“Sailor Moon” is a classic anime, but it honestly doesn’t feel any different from the American shows I grew up watching. That is why it’s a great anime for those who don’t want to jump head first into an intense, over dramatic and action-filled anime.
“Kakegurui” is the first anime I fell in love with on my own. I stumbled upon it on Netflix and was immediately hooked after the first episode. I have to admit though, “Kakegurui” is a little weird, but I believe that is what makes it enjoyable.
“Kakegurui” is weird in a way that makes you involved in the character’s growth each episode. The anime is about Yumeko Jabami, a new transfer student attending a school that’s composed of high-class students who risk everything gambling. Yumeko comes as a shock to the attendees of the school when she repeatedly wins every game she plays.
However, Yumeko isn’t concerned about winning, but enjoys the ‘pleasure’ of risking everything, even her life, in any game she plays.
What’s really special about this anime is the style of its animation. The artist’s illustrations of the stress on character’s faces when they are close to losing or winning is amazing. Yumeko even has a signature look when she has her opponent right where she wants them. Her eyes start to glow red, and she almost looks demonic, yet lustful at the same time. If you ever become a fan of this show, you will know that when Yumeko makes this face, she’s about to win.
This show has two seasons, a manga and also a live-action show on Netflix. I’ve never watched the live action because I don’t believe it’s humanly possible to capture the facial expressions that anime exhibits, but I have heard good reviews. “Kakegurui” is one of my favorite animes just because how dramatic and crazy it is. If you find yourself interested in the show, here is the trailer of the first season.
3. “One Punch Man”
“One Punch Man” is an anime that is in a league of its own. “One Punch Man” is a fairly new anime, but has gained a lot of attention.
One Punch Man, also known as Saitama, is relatable. He has this millennial-type humor that makes you love him and want to be his friend. Saitama is the annoying best friend who you swear was dropped on the head as a child, but you still love him with all your heart. Saitama is just a regular, bald guy, but he can kill any person with just one punch.
The plot of the show is different from most anime because it isn’t about a war or being the strongest person. Saitama is so strong that he actually gets happy when he finds someone who might just be as strong as him. Sadly, his incredible strength is never challenged, which allows him to defeat every one of his opponents.
Saitama doesn’t gloat about his strength which makes his character admirable. Saitama is so strong but still worries about normal things, such as missing a sale or being liked by others. This makes you like him even more. “One Punch Man” has two seasons and is available on both Hulu and Netflix. This anime will make you laugh and love Saitama for the amazing person he is.
4. “Spirited Away”
My final suggestion is not an anime series, but a movie made by the famous Japanese film company, Studio Ghibli. Anime is not just shows, but styles of illustrations that come to life on screen. Studio Ghibli’s movies are magical and always tug on viewer’s heartstrings.
From “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle” to “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, every movie Studio Ghibli makes gives you a feeling of hope, and in a weird way, makes you feel like a kid again. Studio Ghibli’s animations and movies are so famous that there’s even a museum in Japan that celebrates all of the studio’s works of art.
My favorite movie from Studio Ghibli has to be “Spirited Away”. I watched the movie when I was younger, and I always believed it was a dream I had as I was only able to remember the main character’s family turning into pigs. I was able to watch the movie again when I was older, and since then, it has been one of my favorite films of all time.
The movie is a magical journey that shows just how pure true friendship is. Studio Ghibli has multiple movies that have gained Academy Award nominations, and “Spirited Away” even won best animated feature film at the Academy Awards in 2003. Studio Ghibli is very well known and has wonderful movies that are worth a watch, even if you don’t have a huge interest in anime.
Featured screenshot by Timia Cobb via Hulu.